Contributor: Tómas Jónsson

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James came from a lineage of infidelity. As he lusted after his colleague, he wondered if his feelings were a genetic trait equivalent to his predisposition for high cholesterol.
To further deny responsibility for his actions, James surmised environmental influences were as much to blame for his new desires. James knew of countless affairs among his colleagues, neighbors, and societal elites.
Unlike the politician cheating with a young lobbyist, James’ had no fear of his wife learning of his disloyalty through the tabloids. James worried that some form of electronic data would expose his subterfuge. And again, surrendering to his environment, and despite the near promise of enabling his own destruction, James could not deny his desire to create an electronic footprint. In the privacy of his office cubical he put his never realized artistic potential to use by storyboarding a video and the positions in which his accomplice would look her best.
James continued about his day expecting it and all that followed to continue unchanged until his demise. He stared at Anne’s chest as she twirled her hair. Anne’s recent weight gain had done little to detract from her figure. She carried the new weight well, mostly in her stomach, leaving her shapely ass still worthy of James’ admiration.
Anne was not attracted to James. However, since James was oblivious to this, he had already convinced himself of a future liaison. In James’ fantasy, Anne’s reputation for promiscuity led her into his bed. She would seek him out for a tawdry night in which they made love for the sake of sex. For a short time they might even mistake their sin of lust as love.
James’ delusion created another battle against the forces driving him to cheat. Why should he not be free to fall in and out of love when his wife was swinging in and out of his life?
It was this pendulum of love that tormented James. He had not fallen out of love with his wife, but she had. For the past 751 days James’ wife put her career and personal satisfaction ahead of all else. Had James been as brilliant and half as successful he would have acted the same. Her success was so great they lived a life they never imagined. Living expenses became inconsequential. As a result numbers in bank accounts were used in the interim to fill the emptiness in James’ as he ate another dinner alone in their perfectly decorated beach house. All it had cost him was the vacancy of his bed and the realization that he was a commodity to his partner. When she was no longer successful and the career that made her happy was gone, she would plug him back into the equation restoring her sense of contentment with life.
James pondered if his feelings were his own way of commoditizing love. There was fundability to sex. It could be tallied as easily as money was counted. In this calculation James attempt to deceive, never admitting that he wanted to find love, not just have orgasms. James wanted an intimacy that could replace the sense of abandonment that came from his wife and the stark emptiness of the modernity.
Time progressed. James could not decouple from his wife. He was too weak to leave her despite the unhappiness she had caused. James was resolved to suffer in silence endlessly thinking rather than move forward on either front.
Had James been less codependent he might have addressed his wife’s failures. But his love had put her in a position of perfection. He was convinced that any fault in their relationship must have been his. If he cheated, she could remain perfect and he the failure.
When his wife went on another business trip he called the ex-girlfriend. She was aware of his vulnerabilities and manipulated him to serve her needs. As a couple they had no future, but they had shared love in the past. It was a residual energy that still held enough emotion to ease both their troubled lives.
James, at the mercy of emotion, finally gave in to his fears. He broke his oath to his wife. To cope he detached and compartmentalized his feelings from his behavior. Then his erection failed. Mostly flaccid, he struggled to penetrate his former girlfriend. He rubbed her tits and licked her pussy to no avail. James did not cheat, or so he convinced himself because he had not come.
James’ wife never found out about his mistake. She would not have cared. She had been cheating on him for years and never once struggled with the decision. She knew that James would never force her to pay for the consequences of her actions.

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I split my time between Iceland and Wisconsin choosing to live in a climate of perpetual winter.
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